Colorado football state of the position: Wide Receiver

Colorado has more of a history at the wide receiver position than one might notice given its history of running the football. The Buffs have consistently developed playmakers on the outside and have pushed that talent to the NFL. The 1990s saw eight different Buffs receivers drafted, including four first-round picks in a seven-year span.

Now in 2022, Colorado is looking for new faces to fill the void left by a few players departing via either graduation or the transfer portal.

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Will a new Buff be able to join the ranks of the Michael Westbrooks, the Paul Richardsons and the Laviska Shenault Jrs. of the world?

Initial Thoughts

R.J. Sneed was a big get this offseason. Sneed was one of the best pass catchers on the Baylor Bears the past two seasons and will be looked upon to be the star of this current stable of Buffs’ receivers. Montana Lemonious-Craig made some outstanding plays in limited action last year, punctuated by an impressive late-game touchdown catch to take the lead over Oregon State. Daniel Arias has always been a tease when it comes to his size-speed combination and how that translates to the field, but he has impressed new wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan this spring. Can this finally be the year he puts it all together and dominates on the field?

As for the slot position, Chase Penry saw action as soon as he stepped onto the field at CU and next year will be no different. Penry was a first down-making slot, built in the model of a Scotty McKnight, while also handling punt return duties. Maurice Bell will hopefully be fully healed from a torn Achilles and will bring some speed and experience to both the slot and outside positions. Jaylon Jackson has also shown some explosiveness at the WR position and in the return game, he will now likely get opportunities to show what he can do from the slot this season.


Our projected depth charts at WR and the slot are below, followed by a few projections and a look to the future:

1. R.J. Sneed

(Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)

2. Montana Lemonious-Craig

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3. Danial Arias

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4. Ty Robinson

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5. Grant Page

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1. Chase Penry (Slot)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

2. Maurice Bell

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3. Jaylon Jackson

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4. Jack Hestera

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Breakout Star: R.J. Sneed

R.J. Sneed has been a very productive receiver for the Baylor Bears the past few seasons, and this could be the year he takes that next step. The grad transfer will be entering his sixth season of college football and has plenty of high-level experience, playing in three bowls in his five seasons at Baylor. Sneed has averaged a very healthy 12.7 and 12.5 yards per catch while hauling in five touchdowns the last two seasons. With a more pro-style approach — and potentially quarterback — to go along with a slam dunk WR coach hire, look for Sneed to have a chance to be the next great Colorado WR to be drafted into the NFL.


Stat Projection

R.J. Sneed: 50 catches, 675 yards, 13.5 yards per catch, 7 touchdowns

Montana Lemonious-Craig: 25 catches, 300 yards, 12 yards per catch, 3 touchdowns

Chase Penry: 35 catches, 350 yards, 4 touchdowns

Daniel Arias: 15 catches, 240 yards, 16 yards per catch, 2 touchdowns

Maurice Bell: 10 catches, 110 yards, 11 yards per catch, 1 touchdown

Position Pipeline

Colorado was able to snag three recruits from the past recruiting cycle, and one walk-on who made a name for himself during spring ball. Jack Hestera is a legacy player that has caught many an eye with his performance during spring practices. Hestera will likely compete with Penry to be the next slot machine over the next few years.


Grant Page is an early enrollee out of Fairview High in Boulder and brings some much-needed size to the position at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds. Jordan Tyson and Chase Sowell will be arriving this fall from Texas — both three-star recruits. Last but not least, keep an eye out for Ty Robinson. Robinson is another local kid who saw action last year as a true freshman and was even able to haul in the first touchdown of his career.

Story originally appeared on Buffaloes Wire